Kolkata, Jun 14 (GCCurrentAffairs) Even as the impasse in government hospitals in Bengal went on unabated with no immediate solution in sight as the Outdoor Patient Departments (OPD) ceased functioning for the fourth day today, the continuing strife of the patients, who used to bear the brunt, however, heaved a slight of relief this morning with the start of functioning of the Emergency Departments at the NRS Hospital and SSKM after
Six organisations of senior doctors yesterday expressed solidarity with the striking junior doctors across West Bengal and joined the agitation today even as Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi appealed to end the agitation and treat the patients.
The medical fraternity all over the country have also expressed their solidarity with the striking doctors, and the Residence Doctors’ Association at All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi is observing a ‘token shutdown’. Vehemently condemning assault on doctors in different hospitals in the state, the Indian Medical
Association (IMA) has also called for a ‘token ceasework’ all over the country.
Yesterday, defying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s four-hour ultimatum to get to work or face punitive action, even she may invoke ESMA, the junior doctors, interns, house staff and PGT in a joint meeting decided to carry on the agitation until their demands, including their safety and security in the working place and arrest of those who assaulted the medics at NRS and other hospitals, are conceded.
They said instead of considering their demands, the Chief Minister threatened to take punitive action against them and ordered to vacate the hostels of the striking doctors.
Even nursing staff of the SSKM joined the agitation expressing the solidarity with the striking medics.
NRS Principal Saibal Mukherjee and Medical Superintendent-cum-Vice-Principal (MSVP) Saurav Chattopadhyay put in their papers last night, expressing their regret over being unable to contain the crisis in the medical college.
Much to the embarrassment of Ms Banerjee, senior Trinamool Congress leader and Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Firhad Hakim’s daughter Dr Shabba Hakim asked, ” Please question the government as in why the police officers posted in government hospitals do little to nothing to protect doctors? For those who do not know Doctors in government and most private hospitals are boycotting OPD but are still working in emergency. Unlike other professions we can’t just decide not to work because at the end of the day we have humanity. ”
” If there was a bus or taxi strike not one taxi driver or bus driver would provide you with any service no matter how dire the situation. For those saying “Ono Rugider ki dosh?” Please question the government as in why the police officers posted in government hospitals do little to nothing to protect doctors? Please question them that when 2 truckload of goon showed up why wasn’t back up sent immediately?
Please question why goons are still surrounding hospitals and beating up doctors? We have a right to peaceful protest. We have a right to safety at work. As a TMC supporter I am deeply ashamed at the inaction and the silence of our leader, ” she commented.Ms Banerjee also wrote a letter to senior doctors and professors of Medical
Colleges and Hospitals across the state last night, urging them to take care of all patients in the state. In her letter, Ms Banerjee said poor people coming from all districts to hospitals for treatment must be treated properly.
“Please take care of all patients, poor people are coming from all districts. I’ll be obliged and honoured if you all please take full care of hospitals. They must run smoothly & peacefully,” Ms Banerjee wrote in her letter.
The chief minister, who appeared on a Bengali News Channel last night, made an appeal to the striking docs to get back to work, saying, ‘ I don’t mind what the young doctors have said. Behead me if you want to, but please resume work. ‘
A six-member delegation of the striking doctors also called on Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi yesterday and sought his intervention after they received ultimatum from the Chief minister.
“We wanted to have armed policemen on duty in the government hospitals and action against those who assault doctors under proper Section, including non-bailable warrant of arrest, ” said a member of the delegation.
A spokesman of the delegation alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a visit to the SSKM Hospital instead of taking the matter sympathetically called the striking doctors “outsiders” and threatened to invoke ESMA on the health sector.